9 items from 2007
23 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Moonlight, which centers on an immortal private investigator (Alex O'Loughlin) from Los Angeles, joins CBS freshman drama Cane, which has received an order for four scripts .
CBS' other freshman series, the comedy The Big Bang Theory, received a full-season pickup last week. »
He replaces David Greenwalt, who left the series last week for personal and health reasons.
Moonlight, from Warner Bros. TV and Silver Pictures TV, centers on a private investigator (Alex O'Loughlin) who is a vampire.
The Heroes panel, which started at 12:45 p.m. Saturday and was held in the Convention Center's second-biggest room, holding about 4,000 people, hit maximum capacity almost as soon as the doors opened at 10 a.m. Fans arrived early and sat through two other presentations -- for NBC's Bionic Woman and a TV Guide panel on TV heroes -- just to hear the Heroes creators and to offer their love to the cast. Even Danny Bonaduce stood in line to ask a question. Thousands more waited in line for hours in case, by chance, some room opened up.
When it was announced that Kevin Smith would direct the first episode of spinoff show Heroes: Origins, an already electric room amped off the charts.
Television's presence was the strongest it's ever been at the Con, where the small screen's influence has been slowly growing since ABC launched Lost in 2004, previewing the pilot in a large hall that was only half full at the time. But it was those early fans that helped the show become a buzz-worthy hit, and when an unknown show called Heroes previewed in 2006 and went on to become one of the biggest new dramas of the season, the Con's launching pad status was solidified.
Shows that lined up in hopes of blasting off this year included ABC's Pushing Daisies, CBS' Moonlight, NBC's Chuck and CW's Reaper. Underscoring the importance of the Con, even Fox's 24, heading into its seventh season, made its first trip to San Diego, perhaps to shore up geek support after a less-than-stellar year.
Also whipping geeks into a frenzy was word of Lucy Lawless returning to Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica, and Sam Jones, who played Flash Gordon in the 1980 movie, set to appear as a guest star on the channel's upcoming Flash Gordon series. The channel also announced that Farscape creator Rockne S. O'Bannon has signed on to executive produce and develop stories for a new 10-episode webisode series based on the beloved show that will run on SciFi.com.
This year, the film contingents at the Con didn't offer many standouts. The exceptions were Warner Bros. Pictures' Get Smart, with its cast in tow; Paramount Pictures' orchestration of the dual Spock casting of Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto in its next Star Trek movie; and Marvel Studios' Iron Man.
Marvel's efforts were almost a textbook example of how to make an impression at the Con. The company stoked the flames with a large mysterious crate with the words "Stark Industries" sitting on the convention floor. »
Greenwalt, co-creator/executive producer of another vampire-themed series, WB's Angel, joined MoonlightMoonlight now underway, and a new showrunner is expected to be named shortly. »
Davis and Zotnowski have been shepherding CBS' drama development since the fall, when senior vp drama Laverne McKinnon left the network. They will continue to report to CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler.
Davis and Zotnowski's promotions come on the heels of the duo overseeing a slate of risky and unconventional projects, several of which were picked up to series: the murder-mystery musical Viva Laughlin; the couple- swapping-themed Swingtown; the Latino dark family drama Cane; and Moonlight, about a private eye who is a vampire.
"I've watched Robert and Christina grow from promising young programrs to talented, skilled and accomplished development executives," Tassler said. "Without question they are two of the brightest young programming minds in our business, with the talent and relationships in the community to take our drama development to even greater heights."
Davis and Zotnowski, who have operated as a team since they were named vps drama series in May 2005, also were involved in the development of CBS' returning freshmen dramas Jericho and Shark and sophomore one-hours Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer and The Unit.
Davis started in the CBS drama department in 1997 as assistant to then-department head Tassler and rose through the ranks from supervisor to manager and director. »
"Veronica Mars" alum Jason Dohring is reuniting with the show's producers, Warner Bros. TV and Silver Pictures, with a co-starring role on "Moonlight", their new series for CBS. The drama centers on a private investigator (Alex O'Loughlin) who is a vampire.
Dohring will play ancient vampire Josef. He replaces 60-year-old Rade Serbedzija, who played the part in the pilot presentation before the character was reconceptualized as a young, mischievous hedge-fund trader.
Dohring, who played Veronica Mars' (Kristen Bell) on-and-off boyfriend Logan on the critically praised CW drama, is the second new addition to "Moonlight" cast, along with recently cast Sophia Myles. »
ANALYSIS: Looking for trends in the new TV season? They've been surprisingly easy to spot.
You can call it the season of non-American stars, considering the number of dramas with lead roles played by Brits and Australians with a facility for faking American accents (HR 5/15).
You can call it the season of high-concept shows. Every network has one. ABC has a guy whose touch gives life and death (Pushing Daisies). CBS has a vampire detective (Moonlight). NBC has a time traveler (Journeyman) and a woman with high-tech powers (Bionic Woman). Fox has an immortal cop (New Amsterdam). And the CW has a young man in the employ of the devil (Reaper).
The season also continues the trend of the vanishing half-hour comedy. A decade ago, NBC started the fall season with 18 live-action comedies. That's two more than all five networks combined have on their schedules for fall 2007.
Of course, each network has its own spin on the new season. Fox calls its schedule "stable and vibrant." CBS says it is being "daring and different." CW says it seeks "attitude and a sense of fun." ABC went for "memorable characters." NBC, on the other hand, says it is "bulking up," a phrase more commonly associated with the intake of fiber.
Nobody is calling this the Cheap Season, but there is a strong case to be made for that, as well.
NBC made headlines when it announced that, to trim programming costs, it would launch into primetime most nights with unscripted fare. The new schedule shows that it made good on this goal. Except for Thursday nights, when NBC has its lone comedy block, every night begins with reality or news features. »
NEW YORK -- CBS is rolling the dice on a casino-based musical and several other unconventional series the network unveiled Wednesday, with the intent to shake up the network's stodgy sensibility.
Viva Laughlin, a drama that features gamblers belting out pop tunes, is just one example of how CBS wants to draw outside the chalk lines of a schedule already stocked with crime procedurals, albeit shows comprising the industry's most stable lineup. Other edgy dramas come in the form of Cane, a Scarface-esque epic starring Jimmy Smits, and Moonlight, a Joel Silver production featuring a lovelorn vampire detective.
"Our strong, solid schedule allows us to push the envelope next fall," CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves said at the opening of the network's upfront presentation at Carnegie Hall.
The entire presentation was a relatively slim 75 minutes, with none of the elaborately pretaped skits Madison Avenue has come to expect from CBS.
Some comic relief came from customized video snippets featuring the melodramatic line readings of CSI: Miami star David Caruso. He set up scheduling announcements with howlers like, "Monday's so bright you gotta wear shades," before walking out onstage, joining CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler.
Five new series -- four dramas and one comedy -- will join CBS' schedule in the fall, with at least two more slated for midseason.
Like NBC, CBS opted not to open a second comedy night, adding its sole new half-hour series, The Big Bang Theory, to the network's established comedy block at 8:30 p.m. Monday, sandwiched between How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. However, the network is still considering single-camera pilots I'm in Hell and The Captain for midseason.
The most-talked-about CBS program next season might come on the unscripted side: Kid Nation, a new franchise in which 40 children spend 40 days without their parents trying to organize their own society in an abandoned ghost town. The series is being slotted in the 8 p.m. Wednesday slot left open by Jericho, a first-year drama CBS has opted not to bring back.
An even more provocative series is being held over for midseason: Swingtown, a 1970s-era drama originally intended for cable that will depict swinging couples. »
CBS is swinging for the fences on the drama side and staying close to tradition on the comedy side.
On Monday, the network picked up four drama pilots to series: the musical mystery Viva Laughlin, the partner-swapping period drama Swingtown, the vampire crime drama Moonlight and the Latin family drama Cane.
On the returning front, CBS is close to bringing back the freshman comedy Rules of Engagement and the sophomore sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine. Christine, which saw its ratings soften when it was moved from 9:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, is rumored to get a 13-episode midseason order.
9 items from 2007
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